A new celebration Sunday has been added to the PC (USA) calendar: Per Capita Sunday.
According to the Per Capita Sunday webpage, Presbyterians are invited to center their worship services on January 23, 2022 around the ways in which we are called into mutual support and ministry through per capita giving.
“The idea is to provide congregations with resources to help with their own conversations about per capita,” said Kate Trigger Duffert, manager for General Assembly Business in the Office of the General Assembly (OGA) and writer of the Per Capita Sunday Liturgy.
“We’re hoping January is a good time,” she said, with many congregational and mid-council budget meetings scheduled for early in the year.
Trigger Duffert said Per Capita Sunday was partly inspired by Special Offering Sundays that raise financial support for Presbyterian Mission Agency (PMA) projects. The Per Capita Sunday materials do not ask congregations to take up an offering, instead showing the impact of budgeted per capita remittances.
Details about the various resources available for Per Capita Sunday are described in an article published by Fred Tangeman of the Office of the General Assembly on January 5, 2022.
The resources — which can be used inside congregational presentations or shared via websites and social media — include:
- A liturgy with scripture from I Corinthians 12:12-31, “a reminder that all parts of the church are parts of one body.”
- A sermon starter by the Rev. Dr. Cynthia Campbell, pastor emeriti of Highland Presbyterian Church in Louisville.
- An article by the Rev. Dr. Timothy Hart-Anderson about “Understanding per capita: The money contributed helps build up the Body of Christ.” The article was published in the December 2021 edition of Presbyterians Today.
- Eight video clips from PC(USA) leaders who share thoughts about the importance of per capita to the Presbyterian connectional system. Each video is about two minutes long.
According to pcusa.org, “Per capita connects Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) congregations and mid councils with the work of the wider church. As the primary source of OGA support, it is how Presbyterians mutually and equitably share the costs of moving the church forward in the 21st century.
Per capita allows OGA to help individuals find calls to ministry, coordinate General Assembly gatherings, train presbytery and synod leaders, counsel and support churches in crisis, engage in ecumenical and interreligious community, and preserve congregational histories. Presbyterian Mission Agency also receives some per capita funding that helps with its mission work.